7/17/2021 Watkins Glen Upper Entrance – Indian Trail
(Intro: I have been very busy with two Kickstarter projects and haven’t been hiking longer than just our daily routine. I am just catching up posting our last two hikes from 2021 😳. I’ll share my heART QR code on the bottom here, and ask you to take a few minutes to check it out, please. Sharing it would be greatly appreciated as well!)
After going back and forth of which trail to hike today I’ve decided on Watkins Glen because of its scenic value. However I wanted to enjoy it without the crowds so we got up early. We’ve arrived at the Upper Entrance at 7:15, beating everyone to it. Parking lot is empty on our arrival. There is an entrance fee of $10/day which is a small token to pay in order to enjoy a marvelous day at this natural beauty.
Unfortunately as we proceeded it become clear that dogs are not allowed in the gorge so I had to change our course. There is a parallel (upper) trail so we end up taking a sharp left turn. It’ll take us down to the main entrance and back.
This is still a beautiful, scenic route even though it’s not challenging at all. We are just enjoying nature and new smells – Mag, not me. There are so many different kind of fungi here! Would love to know them all….
Since it’s super moist around here – hence fungi – there are a lot of teeny-tiny waterfalls seeping through the elevated soil on our left. Lots of different wild flowers are in bloom, visited by all sorts of insects, looking for nectar.
Soon we reach an overlook of the gorge below with an educational board. There are several of these throughout our hike with great information about the water’s journey, “life on the edge”, the suspension bridge and some other topics. This first one comes with a beautiful waterfall view as a backdrop.
Continue on our journey we pass by more wildflowers, heARTs, a cemetery and some gorg (pun intended) elevated views of the gorge below. Wishing we could be down there, closer to the raging water. After some interesting tree trunks and roots, slow-mo slugs, and the quiet trail to ourselves we arrive to a suspension bridge.
The view below is amazing! Several green terraces along with the gorge’s walking trail and of course the madly rushing Glen. Crossing the bridge leads us to the South Rim Trail. Here we come across several elaborate cairns, hundreds of piled rocks in various sizes and heights. Time and distance goes quick when we are having fun and soon we arrive close to the main entrance at Couch’s Staircase.
Here we have an other expansive view to the main gate and the widened Glen, along with a peekaboo of the town of Watkins Glen. Take your time to check out all the interesting information at the entrance, lots to learn and shoot some pics as well. We head to the North Rim/Indian Trail to complete our loop. Hope you like stairs….
There are a lot more of them. The view is wonderful looking to both directions. The rumbling Glen is framed by the entrance gate/bridge on one side and the valley down below with the hazy wine hills in the backdrop on the other. Red and deep burgundy Sumac lines the path and I have to be careful to only concentrate to do only one thing at a time. Enjoying the view while photographing and holding Mag can be challenging while spotting heARTs.
Our time flies by super quick on the way back and we rapidly return to the car, finishing our hike just under 2 hours. It’s after 9am and the parking lot is full. Cleaning Mag off of the Glen’s muck is a breeze and after having breakfast we head out.I
I am planning another hike tomorrow in the Gorge without Mag. Meanwhile we still have to show our faces at the racetrack this afternoon, before the next storm moves in.
I had to make a run for it from the Jackie Stewart grandstand because it started the pour! What a great day we had! Look who’s is exhausted….
Hope there is another fabulous day tomorrow! Hope to see you here….
P.S.: my Kickstarter QR code for heART as promised. Please check it out and share it if you like my colorful hobby.
Thanks for reading!